Before: A Beginner’s Guide to Shoplifting


Are you confident enough to step your game up? If so, then I, u/thief, am here to help you out. In this guide, we will be expanding on the methods you can use against stores with a bit more security than maybe the dollar store you’ve been taking packs of gum from for the past couple of weeks.

Before you think about stepping it up, there are some things you should ask yourself.

  • Are you Stealing things like a pro, not showing any obvious signs of nervousness?
  • Have you completed more than 3 lifts, giving yourself the experience you require to move up in skill?
  • Have you gotten away clean every time?
  • Do you still think this is the direction you want to head in life?

If you answered ‘Yes ’ to all four questions above, then you might just be ready to step it up. Let’s get into the basics.


  1. The Basics
  2. Planning
  3. Going In
  4. The Lift
  5. Expanding on Methods

1. The Basics

Well, before we dive into planning your next lift, or next store to hit, let’s just make ourselves familiar with the definition of intermediate when it comes to shoplifting.

Here’s what I would suggest completing before you start lifting more. All of these will ensure you have the skill and experience to hit harder later:

  • Complete 3 or more lifts totaling at least $25

  • Never have been caught

  • Act professionally when lifting and have confidence in your abilities

So that seems easy enough. Do you meet every single criteria? Then you’re ready. Those are the basics. Let’s head into planning your bigger lifts.

Intermediate does not include lifting tagged items, that should only be attempted by the advanced and professionals that we’ll get into in the next few guides. Never attempt lifting a tagged item until you’re an advanced shoplifter.

2. Planning

Do you remember when you planned your first store? You could have either followed the guide I wrote, or maybe you just thought “Hey, I think I’m gonna steal from this store I’m in/going to right now.”

Well, this time it may be more difficult to choose a store. We have to familiarize ourselves with the definition of an intermediate/medium difficulty store.

What would be classified as an intermediate store? A medium difficulty store would be one with security features, although moderate or minimum in amounts. I would suggest taking notes from the Master List(see here, very outdated) and choosing a store with a score of 4/10 or below.

An example store might be one with cameras in minimal amounts, tagged items in moderation, or scanners at the entrance, as these are all security features. Only lift from retailers. Do not lift from mom/pop stores. Dickhead move.

Don’t worry. I will teach you how to work around these to make sure you make a clean getaway.

Well, now it’s time to decide a store. Maybe it’s one you’ve been at before, maybe it’s not. If it is one you’ve been at, remember the security features. If you’ve never been to the store, look for it in the Master List. If it’s not on there, do not attempt it as it may be actually supremely difficult to hit.

Plan out a date and time. Yes, we’re doing this just like your first lift, because every lift should be planned, as security in many stores fluctuate. Maybe you’re feeling confident enough to go right after you read through this. That’s alright. Maybe you want to wait a week to gain that confidence. That is also alright. Pace yourself so you don’t display erratic behavior. Only go when you’re feeling confident in your abilities.

Plan what item you want. And make sure it’s something you can take use of. Don’t go into a store looking around because you will probably be in too long and that will be suspicious. Make sure it’s concealable, and an item you don’t think will be tagged with a security tag.

Research, research, research. Do not hit a store you do not know the security details of. Very dangerous and stupid move. Always research the store before going in before you get caught.

If you cannot find any information on your store, it’s not a bad idea to do some recon before attempting a lift if you really want something there that bad. Go into the store and act like a regular shopper, notice the scanners, take note of how many cameras there are, look for tags on your item, but do not lift it right then and there unless you can confirm there’s too little security measures for you to get caught.

By that I mean very minimal cameras, no tags and scanners. If all 3 of those sound like your store, then you’re golden. If not, hold off and lift a different time. This is to keep you safe.

Once you’ve decided and researched, go to step 3.

3. Going In

Hey, it’s the day of your first medium difficulty lift. You’re going to want to follow the same procedure as the first lift you’ve ever planned:

  • Dress nicely. This one’s new, but important. Don’t go in with a whole ass suit, but don’t go dressed like someone who lives out on the street (if possible). Dress like a regular well-prepared civilian. Dress appropriate to the weather.

  • Go to the store. Obviously.

  • Have confidence and act normal.

Okay, so you’ve just stepped into the store. Remember; do not act nervous, act like a normal shopper. Greet everyone you make eye contact with a friendly smile, or a wave, and keep it pushing. If an employee asks if you need help, respectfully decline. Remember, don’t power walk toward the item you want, but don’t walk slow enough for everyone to know your face, but don’t be in a rush.

Past this point you’re probably scanning the store for all the security features. If you’re walking around the store and looking at every single camera dangling from the ceiling you’re going to be treated no differently than someone who acts very nervous and conceals in front of cameras and all that kind of unprofessional stuff. Especially if someone happens to be monitoring the cameras and witnesses you making direct eye contact with every fucking dome in the store and decides to watch you.

So don’t. You should only look at cameras with your peripheral vision, maybe out of the corner of your eye.

Well, you’re at the aisle of what you want now. You’re looking it right in the eyes, and you’re about to walk out with it. Well, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it concealable?

  • Are no tags visible anywhere on the item?

If your answer is yes to the above two questions, then you’re golden, because other methods such as booster bags should only be attempted by the advanced who know their state laws and are professional enough to go undetected/under the radar.

4. The Lift

Okay, so you’re probably familiar with how this goes down. You take the item, pocket it and leave, right? Not so fast.

Make sure you’ve fully examined the item before concealing. No tags, right? (Barcodes are not tags.) Is it not too large to conceal without making a massive bulge in your clothing or bag? If not, alright, your item is good.

Make sure there’s no one in your aisle, or any employees nearby. Make sure to take note of any cameras in your aisle, and if there is, be prepared to turn your back to it. Your body will essentially act as a blind spot, which we will dive further into at step 5.

Well, conceal. Or put the item in your bag, if you brought one, and be quick, but don’t look suspicious. If you took use of a blind spot, you’re already getting more skilled. If you would like to learn how to use blind spots, refer to this guide.

The item is now yours. Now repeat what you’ve learned from your beginner moments.

Walk out of the store with confidence. Flash a smile to employees and customers. Point finger guns! Okay, maybe no finger guns because that’s being too confident, and weird.

Get to the exit. Then leave. And now you’re free. That wasn’t too bad, was it? Didn’t think so. Good job. You’ve just completed your first intermediate lift. Celebrate, and take use of your new prized possession. Repeat as often as you want, but don’t hit the same store constantly.

5. Expanding on Methods

Some methods you can use as an intermediate shoplifter are things such as blind spots and the use of bags.

  • Blind spots are places in a store that are hidden from cameras and potentially other people when the moment is right. You can take use of these greatly, and I suggest you do. Read this guide on how to find and use blind spots.

  • If you want to, you can take use of bags for big lifts. This can include things such as a personal handbag, purse, or maybe a backpack if it’s the right kind of store. Backpacks are usually suspicious however, and you may just be watched, but it’s not completely ruled out. NEVER use very odd things you wouldn’t typically take into a store such as a briefcase or duffel bag. That will only make you be watched closer.

Thank you for reading, I hope this helped. Stay safe!

Next: An Advanced Guide to Shoplifting (TODO)


This is basically just a cleaned up version of the Raddle Shoplifting Guide

  • punkisundead [they/them]OPM
    link
    English
    24 months ago

    If you answered ‘Yes ’ to all four questions above, then you might just be ready to step it up.

    I don’t like this type of gate keeping, but at the same time its at least some guidance if you feel unsure about attempting whats described in this guide. Stay safe out there